It's deadline day for the Congressional super-committee charged with reducing the federal budget by $1.2 trillion, and talks are not going so well. The defense and national security budgets are going to face the majority of automatic spending cuts if the two sides can't make a deal. Disagreements have centered on whether tax increases should form part of the budget reduction measures, with Democrats in favor of such rises but Republicans opposed. A last-minute proposal that included some new taxes raised hopes in the final week of negotiations, but could not muster enough support. … Republicans had also demanded cuts in entitlement programs, such as social security, Medicare and Medicaid — something that Democrats had shown willingness to permit, but only in return for tax rises on the rich that were not forthcoming from the other side.
One of the judges overseeing the Occupy Cincinnati trespassing cases says there's nothing in the city charter that gives the Park Board the authority to dole out misdemeanors. Several other municipal court judges either declined comment or said they would consider the point Stockdale makes in his letter if it is raised during the hearings.Attorneys for the protesters said they intend to do just that. They already have asked judges to dismiss the charges on grounds the park board rules violate the free speech rights of the protesters.They say Stockdale’s letter raises another weakness in the city’s case against their clients. “Whether it’s a violation of the First Amendment or an over-reach by the park board, they are clearly relevant questions,” said Rob Linneman, an attorney for the protesters.
While the broadcast TV networks were busy
covering Andy Rooney’s death, Kim Kardashian’s divorce and the Royal
Couple’s visit to America, they barely mentioned a
disturbing study that found 30 of the most profitable U.S. corporations
had a “negative tax rate” during the recent three-year period it
covered. Those same firms had combined pre-tax profits of $160 billion during that time.
Happy Election Day! It looks like SB 5 is headed for a big defeat even though Gov. Kasich last night told a bunch of East Side Tea Partiers how cool it would be if Issue 2 passed, while a union representative told opponents of the bill that it was about to get “shoved down the throats of John Kasich and the Republicans.” The Hamilton County Administrator yesterday said “sorry homeowners, but our stadium deficit will not allow us to offer the tax credit Republicans said would make up for your part of the stadium sales tax.” Commissioners Todd Portune and Chris Monzel today said they're going to include the credit even though they don't know how yet. Hopefully they can figure it out soon so they can work on adding public housing to the suburbs before the county gets sued by the Feds.
The Occupy Cincinnati
movement has decided to use Piatt Park at the corner of Vine Street and
Garfield Place as its base of operations. The following feed will aggregate all #occupycincinnati and #occupycincy
hashtags, and we'll continue to update this page with links to CityBeat's ongoing coverage of the movement.
The Cincinnati Enquirer announced its endorsements over the weekend, and four incumbents were left thinking, “What the [expletive] did I do?!?” The current councilpersons who the paper decided not to endorse are Republican Wayne Lippert, who was appointed in March, and Republicans Leslie Ghiz and Charlie Winburn, along with Democrat Cecil Thomas. Ghiz was described as having a penchant for starting arguments that have been “personal, petty and nasty,” while Winburn's “unpredictable behavior” was noted along with Thomas' problems fully grasping budget and finance issues.
Streetcar proponents have spent considerably more on their campaign than the anti-streetcar people, probably because Issue 48 is so wide-reaching it has brought out people concerned with things way more important than the streetcar such as regional planning, commuter rail and making Cincinnati not look like it totally sucks. Also being outspent are the SB 5 supporters, who have seen support decline dramatically in recent weeks as people look around their neighborhoods and see a bunch of regular people whose rights would be taken away. And Building a Better Ohio does unethical things like this, which makes people think they are meanies. Here's a blog about City Council candidate Chris Smitherman arguing against all the legal experts who say Issue 48 will block all rail construction through 2020.
As our leaders loudly preach, democracy
is something that we export to the rest of the world — to certain
monarchies and autocratic regimes that rule Arab nations, for example.
And it’s understandable though regrettable, they tell us, that there
would be eruptions of pent-up anger at aloof upper classes in India,
Greece, Spain and Israel. But a genuinely populist uprising to
bring democracy, both economic and political, to the U.S.A.?
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney yesterday popped in on a local pro-Issue 2 and Issue 3 call center and then refused to publicly endorse either Republican initiative. “Yes” votes on Issues 2 and 3 would keep Senate Bill 5 and allow Ohioans to opt out of mandatory health care passed by Congress last year, respectively. From CNN:"I am not speaking about the particular ballot issues," Romney said, only after repeated questions from reporters. "Those are up to the people of Ohio. But I certainly support the efforts of the governor to reign in the scale of government. I am not terribly familiar with the two ballot initiatives. But I am certainly supportive of the Republican Party's efforts here." Both topics are tricky for the Romney campaign. He is no stranger to health insurance mandates, having passed one of his own in 2006 while governor of Massachusetts. Meanwhile, the Republican-backed union legislation remains deeply unpopular in the state, which is all but certain to be a swing state once again in 2012.Romney also doesn't want to make his tax returns public. Too modest.
There is a certain appropriateness that it
is representatives of Big Business and corporate America who are trying
to have the Occupy Cincinnati protestors removed from their encampment
at downtown’s Piatt Park, which is a public space. In trying to capitalize on their oversized influence with politicians at City Hall, those corporate bigwigs are proving the main point behind the various “Occupy” protests taking place across the nation — that people with money have far more clout in our political system than those who don’t.